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Tennis courts should stay

Peter Sanday and Jane Beck, front, head up a group of residents worried about a development proposal at Twin Waters. They shared their concerns with councillor Debbie Blumel, centre. Photo: Chris McCormack/175862a
Peter Sanday and Jane Beck, front, head up a group of residents worried about a development proposal at Twin Waters. They shared their concerns with councillor Debbie Blumel, centre. Photo: Chris McCormack/175862a

What part of “No” don’t the developers understand?

Lend Lease has lodged applications with the council on behalf of land owners to develop the six tennis courts at Twin Waters.

Overwhelmingly, the local community says: “No, we want the tennis courts to stay.”

The tennis courts complex, located at the Twin Waters golf course, is zoned for recreational purposes.

It is a valuable recreational facility enjoyed by many local people.

To the great disappointment of the local community, the owners of the land have now lodged applications to build 14 residential units there and provide just two tennis courts.

The Lend Lease applications lodged with council on behalf of the land owners wishing to develop will be assessed by planning officers in due course. However, many local people and community organisations have lodged objections which also will be considered during the assessment process.

I pledged during the election campaign to support local people when it comes to ensuring the planning scheme is respected.

That continues to be my ongoing commitment to you.

The current planning scheme, Maroochy Plan 2000, identifies the preferred dominant land use (in Precinct 15 of Planning Area 9) as “recreation”, not “residential”.

That will be a key factor in the council’s decision-making process.

The Integrated Planning Act 1997 requires the council’s decision must not “conflict with the planning scheme unless there are sufficient grounds to justify the conflict”. Grounds are described as “matters of public interest”.

The applicant’s task is to argue there is public interest, while the community’s argument is that there is none.

Two weeks ago I was invited to meet a small group of tennis players at the courts to listen to their concerns.

I was surprised to be met by a very large group of concerned Twin Waters residents and the media. It was a terrific public demonstration of the depth of feeling about this issue.

At that gathering, some people told me they had decided to buy a home at Twin Waters because of the tennis facilities. Others said their tennis days were cherished social occasions which they eagerly anticipated. Social tennis provides opportunities for social interaction and healthy lifestyles. It’s a very highly valued aspect of people’s lives.

Many residents showed me Lend Lease marketing material that enticed them to buy their homes here.

Lifestyle, social and sporting facilities were key features and selling points.

It’s my sincere hope the people of Twin Waters will continue to enjoy their tennis into the future.

You may be assured I will represent community interests strongly in council on this matter.


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